Some months after that phone call, we were sitting in a pub in Brașov, Romania together with his band mate—Dan “Ursu” Olar—waiting for a Celelalte Cuvinte concert to start across the street. I showed them a first draft of the logo and from that moment on we embarked on a very interesting and adventurous journey together.
Drawing inspiration from the way in which band was formed—hence their name—I wanted to come up with a genuine and strong identity in which all pieces fit together perfectly to form the whole, just as each band member does the same. After a bit of exploring this lead me to the most perfect of all shapes, the circle.
The way in which all the letters come together in a circle is a good depiction of how things can simply fall into place if you have the right people, allowing for something great to unfold. Despite having found the idea with which to continue, it was only until I had the second sketch on paper did I realize that the upper part shared similarities with the deviantART logo, looking a bit like a flipped version of it.
After a few iterations I ended up making the strokes wider to give it a more solid feel and I also reduced the size of the four double arches, turning them into more of a floral decoration of sorts. At a later stage, moving on to digital allowed me to refine the geometry behind it until I finally achieved the close-knit design that I was looking for.
Despite having a very punk attitude, the band has strong roots in medieval culture and the logo had to respect that. The top and bottom arrows are meant to resemble crests worn by common folk in Romanian medieval times, but they also double as the tips of a compass needle, shifting direction whenever the band’s journey takes them on new adventures.
As the band progressed in their career, they remained true to their roots and so did their logo, just that in more and more mediums. From paper, wood, and fabric, to leather, linen stitching and even skin! That’s right, I had the honour of having Sergiu tattoo the logo on his forearm, upside down so that it’s properly visible while he’s madly playing his violin.
During my collaboration with Ad Hoc I designed several concert posters for them, the first of which being done even before I had made their logo. As time moved on, their career progressed and the live gigs grew in number. From street music to well orchestrated and complex stage performances, the band grew in popularity and so did their need for printed material.
The last poster I worked on was for their new country-wide tour entitled “Dezmăț, licori și muzici medievale” (translated to “Fornication, potions and medieval music”, which is basically their own version of “Sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll”). They were going on tour to promote the album with the same name and the design had to stay consistent for all venues, while still remaining easy for them to edit themselves. I solved this by creating a heavily photo manipulated template poster with enough to impact regardless of the venue it would be used for.
Marking the launch of that same debut album, I’ve also created a special edition wallpaper to celebrate the moment. The album was released as a bonus disc with the 7’th edition of the Harap-Alb Continuă comic book—in Romania—and the band was already growing in popularity, so I figured a digital freebie would be a good treat for their newly gained fan base.
The design itself was an idea I wanted to play with for some time anyway and since I already had a collection of downloadable wallpapers hosted on my website, I decided to make this into one as well and have it downloaded from it’s very own page.
At some point during my collaboration with them, I came across some tree trunk sections which seemed ideal for wood carving. I had no previous experience with this nor did I have the tools for it, but as luck would have it I was able to borrow a Dremel tool from a friend of mine and got to try it out.
Now despite having gotten my hands on all of the materials and tools I needed, I still didn’t know what exactly to carve out of that wood piece, until at some point I was working on something Ad Hoc related and figured that their logo would look great carved in wood. After taking the proper measurements and transferring the logo to the wood, I carefully began carving out the outlines and then slowly removing all of the inner shape as well.
An interesting side effect I hadn’t considered at all was that the Dremel bits were also burning the wood while they were carving it, which left a nicely darkened surface behind. With proper sanding and varnishing, the locust wood texture became even more intense and was ready to be hung on a wall.
Since the entire thing was started off as an experiment, I had no plan on keeping the carving for myself, but instead wanted to send it to the band as a surprise. This was in fact my going away gift to them, right before moving to Munich to start a new chapter in my life.
I’m proud of the long way they’ve come since we first talked about their project and I’m very happy to have played my part in their journey and will continue to do so, as much as time will let me. If you want to hear them out, you can always check out their YouTube channel or just visit their Facebook page.